LEMON POUND CAKE WITH LEMON POPPY SEED BUTTERCREAM
I baked this cake for the first time for last years Mother’s Day and have been wanting to share it on the blog since then. This cake is pure perfection!
I love simple cakes, cakes that don’t try too hard and that’s what’s so great about a single layer cake that’s only frosted on the top and not the sides. No fuss. Just a deliciously lemony pound cake with a thick layer of creamy frosting. Don’t hold back on the frosting!
Little warning, it’s called a pound cake for a reason. The base shouldn’t be light and fluffy but rather dense and moist. Careful not to over bake as it’ll dry out fast.
Afternoon tea anyone?
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup castor sugar
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- splash of milk or cream as needed for consistency
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1.) Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a 25cm non-stick pan. Make sure that the cake pan has high sides. Set aside the greased pan.
2.) In the bowl beat the butter until pliable and soft, about 1 minute. Preferably for an electric beater.
3.) In a small bowl toss together sugar and lemon zest using the back of a small spoon. The sugar will become moist and super fragrant.
4.) Add the sugar to the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mixture will be pale in colour.
5.) Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla extract once all of the eggs are mixed in. The batter may look curdled. That’s ok!
6.) Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until almost incorporated. Add the lemon juice and beat to combine. Stop the mixer and finish combining the batter with a wooden spoon or spatula. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to make sure you’ve completely incorporated all of the ingredients.
7.) Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Allow to bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
8.) To make the frosting, cream together the butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add a splash of milk or cream for a thinner consistency. I prefer my buttercream not too thick as to not tear the cake when frosting. Once you get your consistency where you’d like it, beat in the poppy seeds. Add a touch of yellow food die if you’d like.
9.) Spoon and spread the buttercream over the completely cooled cake. Don’t worry about frosting the sides. Leave them bare. Allow the cake the rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
TIP: Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.